Hand Tool Headlines

The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator

This is a collection of all the different blogs I (try to) read.  A whole bunch!  If you have any comments or suggestions feel free to use the CONTACT page to get a hold of me.  Thanks!



Walker on ‘Assessing the Eye of Blue-Collar Geometers’: Issue Two Table of Contents

George Walker has written a fascinating piece for Issue Two that we’re calling ‘Dividing the Line: Assessing the Eye of Blue-Collar Geometers’. In this essay, George presents his own design research from a new perspective. By comparing two 18th century cabinetmaking cousins’ apron profiles to each other, George is able to reverse engineer their designer’s eye for us. At first, you think their aprons look similar enough but after he walks you through the layout process, you see how different they really are.This fascinating exercise will help you in your workshop by teaching you how to layout your own aprons or profiles. How do you capture your inner designer’s eye? How do make something that reflects not just general attractiveness but your own unique voice in the piece?

I’m so grateful that George is taking us back to the essential principals of design that we all missed out on as 21st century mostly self-taught woodworkers. (If you missed his piece in Issue One, you can pick that up here.) His research fulfills a critical role in the Mortise & Tenon vision.

Hang tight for Issue Two… November 1st is not far away!

Categories: Hand Tools

Woodworking in America 2016 (Part 2)

Rainford Restorations - 1 hour 55 min ago

Here’s a recap of Saturday and Sunday (days 2 &3) of Woodworking in America 2016.  Saturday was a fun day of workshops and lectures.     I watched a great talk by Caleb James on Danish Modern furniture. Chris Schwarz had a talk about Chairmanning and a talk about his Roman Workbenches. Roy Underhill demonstrated how to make a classic coffin. Mary May demonstrated how to carve volutes, C-Scrolls and other similarly projects. I also had some fun guarding Chris’ low Roman workbench as I helped Roy get it out to his van.

I got to see some more old friends, meet some new ones and meet several friends I knew from being online, but not in person.  I got to meet Mike Flaim and had a brief interview with Dyami Plotke of MWA.

In the evening we had an event where we went Rhinegeist Brewery for some very good beer and BBQ followed by a tour of some of the massive underground brewing and beer storage tunnels that are under much of Cincinnati.

Click on any of the images below to click through the images as a slideshow. (if you are viewing this post in an email browser, please click on the post title above to view the post on the website itself)

Another great view of the Cincinnati waterfront. Caleb James' excellent presentation on Danish Modern furniture. Caleb's traveling tool chest with a large collection of the planes he's made. Great Hans Wegner quote Caleb James Nicely proportioned stool A table from Caleb's presentation we all hope to see in an article at some point. George Walker George Walker's talk on Designing With Curves George Walker with his string 2.0 George Walker demonstrating some great, and traditional ways of working with curves Mary May's class on carving volutes, C-scrolls and similar things Sample of a violin scroll Carving a volute Mary May Carving a C-Scroll Mike Siemsens's Anarchist Tool Chest Zach Dillinger with his very nice reproduction ottoman. Zach Dillinger taking questions as the end of one of his workshops. Quick selfie with my hero, Roy Underhill. It's always great to see him and he's very nice to all of us fans. You know Roy Underhill's presentation killed -- there were a LOT of coffins all over the room. Chris Schwarz' talk on Roman Workbenches Chris demonstrating how versatile the low bench is for preparing stock. Taller Roman Workbench with Chris hand rasped nuts. Chris Schwarz' talk on making a straightforward chair (showing how you don't need to invest in a lot of fancy chairmanning tools to make a comfortable and nice looking chair) Chris cutting wedges for his chair leg tenons. Vampire vise made by my friend Peter Ross for Chris Schwarz' tall Roman workbench Double wedged tenons in the Roman Workbenches to close up any gaps. The nicest bus stop bench in Covington, KY. Guarding Chris' low Roman workbench as Roy went to get his van. Selfie while laying on a Roman bench in the middle of a city sidewalk. Couldn't help but think of the beginning of the Woodwright's Shop as Roy walked to the parking garage that looks almost a bit like the streets of Durham, NC ;-) Rhinegeist Brewery in Cincinnati Enjoying my time at Rhinegeist Brewery with Zach, Jake and others. They even had a beer called 'Steve' It was OctoberFest weekend in Cincinnati -- the largest outside of Germany. Made my German ancestors happy to try all the brews and see all the folks in Lederhosen and Dirndls. Folks jousting American Gladiator style in full on lederhosen. One of our tour guides of the many underground brewery buildings in Cincinnati Cincinnati Connector Street Cars Great old sign dating back to the first days of electric in the city (At least according to our guide who was quite a character) Pig sticker fence. I also really like how the guy restoring this row house painted the CDX on the door to look like a door and even layered it on the windows and painted them to look a bit like sash. Nice touch. About to enter a spooky underground brewing cave that has even been in some recent movies. Gives and idea of how big some of these brewers were back in the day, under a large hill in the city. There might even be a ghost in this photo.... Inside of the hotel lobby. A very big open space Testing out my new Timbuk2 camera backpack. Worked out great on this trip A paddlewheel sightseeing boat out on the river.

If you’d like to see my photo recap of the first day of WIA 2016, please check out this earlier post here.

I had a great time at the event and hope to see many of you there next year.

Take care,


Filed under: featured, Popular Woodworking Tagged: Cincinnati, Cincinnati Ohio, Covington KY, featured, Popular Woodworking, Popular Woodworking In America, WIA, WIA2016
Categories: General Woodworking

Tool Restoration: Stanley No. 4½ – Part 3

The Bench Blog - 5 hours 22 min ago

Part 3 – Painting

This is the third post in a four-part series in which I show all the steps that I took to restore  an English Stanley No. 4½ Jumbo Smoothing Plane.  You can read the earlier posts here:

I ended the previous post with the plane cleaned, fettled and ready for paint.  As you can see, I didn’t completely strip the plane of its original japanning.  What was there, was very well bonded to the metal and shouldn’t create any problems if painted over.  I have done planes in the past that required sandblasting to strip the casting back to bare metal.  I have also experimented with electrolysis to clean up significantly rusted planes.  Considering the condition of this plane at the start, none of that is needed here.

The first (and hardest) round of fettling all done.

Ready for some nice new paint.

However, I do want the new paint to stick to the plane.  Any dirt, oils, or grease will make this difficult, so the first step is to degrease the casting.  You could do this with degreaser soap and hot water in your utility sink, and I have done this in the past.  The thing to keep in mind is that we are dealing with freshly sanded bare cast iron.  It will rust very quickly.  Using very hot water and thoroughly drying the plane immediately after removing it from the water helps.  You can also use an air compressor to get any water out of the threaded holes.

In this case, I chose to spray down the casting with brake parts cleaner.  You can also use caliper cleaner, or other degreaser sprays.  I just used what I had on hand.

Brake cleaner to degrease the metal parts before painting.

Brake cleaner to degrease the metal parts before painting.

After degreasing I masked off all the little threaded holes.  The paint is going to be applied quite heavily and I don’t want it getting in the threads.  I tear off small pieces of masking tape and roll them into balls.  I then shove the balls into the holes to seal them off from paint.

Little balls of masking tape to fill all the threaded bolt holes.

Little balls of masking tape to fill all the threaded bolt holes.

On the frog, I also cover the lateral adjuster arm and the threaded rod for the depth adjuster wheel.

All prepped and ready for paint.

All prepped and ready for paint.

At this point the project moves outdoors.  On a nice warm dry day (preferably above 55°f), I set some cardboard on top of my trashcan.  I move the trashcan around until the cardboard appears reasonably level, and place the plane on the cardboard.  I then check things with a spirit level.

If I was just painting this would not be so important, but I’m trying to recreate the look of the black japanning that was originally on these planes.  Japanning is much thicker than paint and plane bodies just don’t look right when done with just a thin/light coat of spray paint.  I’m going to build up a lot of paint on this plane body, to the point where you can’t read the letters cast into the bed.  If the plane is not level, the paint will run.  This paint will shrink some as it dries, but it will shrink much more when I bake it in the oven.

Leveling the body casing prior to painting.

Leveling the body casing prior to painting.

Level in both directions.

Level in both directions.

With the plane level, I’m ready to start building up the paint.  For paint, I use the Dupli-Color Gloss Black Ceramic Engine Enamel.  This was another great recommendation from the RexMill site and one that has served me well.  He recommends to use the hi-gloss for all the build-up coats and semi-gloss for the final coat.  I have done this in the past, I agree that it does look better.  This time, I only had the high-gloss paint on hand, so that it what I used. I probably should’ve driven to the auto parts store and spent the seven bucks on a can of semi-gloss for the final coat.  It does look more like real japanning.

There is also a primer available in this paint line.  You might remember that I used it when I restored a hand cranked grinder several posts ago.  However, with plane refinishing, I sand the edges of the plane after the paint has cured and I don’t want to see a thin gray line of primer in between the metal body and the black “Japanning”.

Dupli-Color Gloss Black Ceramic Engine Enamel.

Dupli-Color Gloss Black Ceramic Engine Enamel.












I started with a light coat and gave it about 15 minutes to dry.

A first light(-ish) coat.

A first light(-ish) coat.

Since I’m doing this outside and under the trees, I covered it with an upturned box to prevent dust and dirt from settling into the wet paint.

Covered with a box to prevent dust and pine needles from falling on it.

Covered with a box to prevent dust and pine needles from falling on it.

For the frog, I found a bolt that would (sort of) fit the lever cap screw hole and hung it from a piece of copper wire.

The frog is sprayed while hanging from a piece of copper wire.

The frog is sprayed while hanging from a piece of copper wire.

A first light coat.

A first light coat.

I continued this process, adding another coat every 15 minutes or so, until I had built up a really thick coating.  So thick that you could no longer see the “Made In England” text that was cast into the bed of the plane.  The first time I did this, I was sure I had gone to far, but it needs it.  After the paint dries for a day, and after baking, it will look just right.

After about 4-5 coats, it's starting to get thick and gloppy. The text about unreadable.

After about 4-5 coats, it’s starting to get thick and gloppy. The text is about unreadable.

That's just about right.

That’s just about right.

After about an hour, the paint had tacked up enough to move it without the paint running.  I moved it back inside and put it on the bench to let it dry for a day.

Brought into the garage and left to dry for at least 24 hours.

Brought into the garage and left to dry for at least 24 hours.

Even after a day, this paint isn’t really dry.  The surface is, but you could still mark it with a fingernail if you pushed.  Using a dental pick, I carefully removed all the masking tape.

The next day, I carefully removed all the balls of masking tape.

The next day, I carefully removed all the balls of masking tape.

Ready for baking.

Ready for baking.

I’ve written on this blog before about my method for baking on engine paint.  Since I’m trying to be thorough in this series of posts, I will go over it again.

Once the paint is mostly dry (after about 24 hours) I bake the paint onto the parts.  The paint that I’m using seems to get really hard and durable once baked

Before proceeding, either make sure your wife has an incredible amount of patience, has no sense of smell, or has gone out for the day.  In short, this stinks up the house pretty badly.  Here’s my baking schedule:

  • Put the parts in a cold oven
  • 170°F (the lowest my oven goes) for 30 minutes
  • 200°F for 20 minutes
  • 225°F for 20 minutes
  • 250°F for 20 minutes
  • 275°F for 20 minutes
  • 300°F for at least 1 hour, sometimes I forget about it and leave it for three.
  • Turn off the oven, but leave it closed and allow it to cool slowly overnight.

I do it this way, to avoid damaging any of the cast parts or inducing them to warp.  Metal expands and contracts with changes in temperature and throwing the plane parts into a ripping hot oven seems like a bad idea to me.  I raise the heat slowly, and then let it cool slowly.  So far, I’ve had no problems with this method.  Perhaps, I’m wasting my time with all these slow temperature changes, but I don’t want to damage anything and this just seems like a reasonable precaution to me.

I hang the frog from the top rack with a wire.

Into the oven. (Sorry of the crappy photo).

Into the oven. (Sorry of the crappy photo).

I really must get a better picture of this.

I really must get a better picture of this.

The next morning the parts go back out to the shop.  Look how much the paint has shrunk!  You can clearly read all the text cast into the bed and the corners (like where the sides meet the bed) have that nice curvy, soft, wet look of japanning.  It looks more dipped and coated than painted.

The next day, the paint is nice and hard.

The next day, the paint is nice and hard.

So, now it is all painted, but I just managed to get a bunch of paint in places where I don’t want it.  It’s time to go back to the granite slab for a second round of fettling.  Don’t worry, this one goes way quicker than the first time, as all I have to do is remove the paint.  I started with the frog.

Back to the reference plate to removed the paint form the unwanted areas.

Back to the reference plate to removed the paint from the unwanted areas.

Perfect, that's just what I was looking for. A clean, flat frog, with new paint in the background areas.

Perfect, that’s just what I was looking for. A clean, flat frog, with new paint in the background areas.

The paint also has to be removed from the bottom of the frog.

The paint also has to be removed from the bottom of the frog.

Sanding the edges of the plane takes the longest time of all the things in this step.  The paint really has gotten quite hard after baking.  I sand up to 220 grit and the cast iron takes on a really nice soft satin look.

I hand sand the paint off the edges of the plane. 100 and 220.

I hand sand the paint off the edges of the plane. 100 and 220.

Sanding the edges up to 220 leaves a nice silky finish in the steel. I think it looks great when finished.

Sanding the edges up to 220 leaves a nice silky finish in the steel. I think it looks great when finished.

The sides of the plane got a fair bit of overspray, but this comes off very quickly as I had already flattened the sides earlier.

The body casting also goes back to the reference plate to remove the un-wanted paint.

The body casting also goes back to the reference plate to remove the un-wanted paint.

The paint removed from the sides. This doesn't take long as I flattened the sided before painting.

The paint removed from the sides. This doesn’t take long as I flattened the sided before painting.

The shim that I made in the previous post goes back onto the plane bed, so that I can clean off the paint from the frog mounting lugs.

The same shim that was used in the original fettling is put back on.

The same shim that was used in the original fettling is put back on.

Sanding the paint off of the frog mounting lugs.

Sanding the paint off of the frog mounting lugs.

To remove the paint from the small flats that sit right behind the mouth opening (where the front feet of the frog sit), I use a scalpel.  I scratch at the paint in a crosshatch pattern until I can chip it away.

All the excess paint removed.

All the excess paint removed.

With all that done, I can finally re-install some of the hardware that I cleaned a polished in the first post.  Before installing any screws, I put a couple of drops of oil into each hole.  I don’t want any internal rusting on the threads.

I reinstalled the frog hardware that was cleaned earlier in the process.

I reinstalled the frog hardware that was cleaned earlier in the process.

The frog goes back into the body before final lapping of the sole.

I installed and tightened down the frog.

I installed and tightened down the frog.

I spoke about this in the previous post, but it is important to re-install and tighten down the frog before the final flattening.  Tightening the bolts can cause the body casting to flex slightly and you want the sole to be flat “in use” not disassembled.  It wouldn’t make much sense to perfectly flatten the sole without any hardware attached, and then attach the hardware and throw things back out of flat.

Only once the frog is installed is the final truing of sole accomplished.

Only once the frog is installed is the final truing of sole accomplished.


Since I had done the majority of the fettling before painting, this went very quickly. Once the sole was flat, I removed the frog from the bed and wiped away any sandpaper grit or metal dust.  I then wiped everything down with a good coat of Jojoba oil and reinstalled the frog.

Once the sole was flattened, the frog was removed and all parts got wiped down with Jojoba oil.

Once the sole was flattened, the frog was removed and all parts got wiped down with Jojoba oil.

So, that’s the bulk of the plane done.  In the next post, I will address the cutting iron and chip breaker, and will strip and refinish the wooden knob and tote.  And of course, I’ll have a whole bunch of photos of the finished plane.

More soon.


– Jonathan White

odds and ends first.....

Accidental Woodworker - 5 hours 24 min ago
Last night just as I was finishing the blog post the man in brown showed up. He had all 3 packages that I had ordered which surprised me. Surely that has to be taken as a good omen from the woodworking gods. All I got to do with the goodies then was to open them up and verify the contents against the packing list.

When I got home tonight the front step was piled high with packages. I had 2 and my wife got 4. I knew I had two more coming but not today. It feels like Christmas already and Halloween is still a month away.

gotta love LN customer service
 I had ordered a depth stop from LN and I got it sans the screw. I called LN on tuesday and the girl said she would get a screw out to me right away. I got it today. This is a 12-24 screw thread and a commenter said that this is a common thread size. This is the first that I ever recall seeing or using one in this size.

now it's complete - I think it's a better set up then the original one
my 4 forstner bits
I had a 1/2" size already but I got a new one anyways. These four are what I need to install all the bearings in the cradle.

6" x 3/8" precision shaft
I sure hope that I can hack saw this to the size I need.

everything fits onto it
nice touch
The shaft came in this protective plastic sleeve. It does a great job because the shaft is pristine, end to end.

walnut miller dowels from Lee Valley
I wanted cherry ones but LV doesn't sell them so I had to get the walnut ones. This worked in my favor because it will match with the cherry and walnut that the cradle is made of.

finally got one
I've had this on my got to have it list for years. It comes in quart and gallon sizes and when I ordered the forstner bits from Woodcraft I remembered to add this.

the bottom
This rib on the bottom fits into the channel in the can keeping it clean. I can be incredibly anal about cleaning that before I put the lid back on. That step should be eliminated with this. now.

I sure hope this works as advertised
from Hyperkitten tools
I have one of these but it's a different model. I bought this one because it comes with all the bits. I've lost 2 of them from the old drill and I can't find replacements anywhere.

new on the left and older on the right
The one I just got (left) looks like it has never been used. The right one is a Miller Falls drill and the only number I can find on it is 185.

I'm stumped
I can't figure out how to open this and get to the drill bits. It has a button on this side but it does nothing. I can't push it in or move it up/down or left/right.

another button on the other side
180 degrees from the other button is this one. Stumped again with this one. Can't push this one in neither and I don't have a clue as to what the magic words are to open this. I'll have to buy the book or spend some time on the internet finding out how to do this.

the chucks are different
 I'm going to see if the bits are interchangeable between the two of them.

the new drill chuck is spring loaded
The bit does fit after I stopped trying to screw the chuck open. It opens when you push the chuck up and snaps back in place capturing the bit.

the older is a screw type chuck
This chuck screws to open and you insert the bit into it. You then turn the bit to lock in place and screw the chuck shut. I know this drill works well with this setup.

exit holes
I got a minimal amount of blowout on both of these holes. The left one is with the new drill and the right one is the old drill.

entry holes
I was using the the old drill a lot to make pilot holes for screws. I'm sure I lost the bits because didn't put them back in the top when I was done with them. They probably fell off the bench and I swept them up with all the other crap on the deck.

9/16" OD washers
I couldn't find the piece of cherry that I had drilled a 9/16" hole in. I'll make test holes with all the forstner bits I bought and check that the corresponding parts will fit it in them. This is the finale for the odds and ends.

drilling for the miller dowels
Rather then trying to measure this and be off on the four, I thought of doing this. I aligned the top edge of the tape with the bottom of the mortise on both faces. I then folded the tape over the bottom edge and laid out the diagonals. I got a consistent look on all four corners.

after the rails are glued
I am going to pin the bottom rails with a miller dowel after it has set up.

had to use this
It would take over an hour for the hide glue to warm up so I used this. I don't want to waste anymore time than I have to on this.

chopping the first mortise
I got a lot of practice making mortises when I made all the desktop bookshelves. Doing them is paying off here.

barely a 1/4"
I'm taking my time here because I want this mortise to be perfect. Then I can concentrate on getting the mating tenon as perfect as this.

down to depth - 3 frog hairs deeper than 3/8"
it's done
It is almost 1700 and the time flew by tonight. I find chopping mortises to be relaxing and exciting. I don't know why making a rectangular hole should do this but I like the feeling. I get to experience it again tomorrow when I do the second one.

ready to go for tomorrow
I used the LN router on this because the WM2500 iron is wider than the mortise. I set the depth stop on the LN router after I got the first mortise to depth. I'll be able to gauge my progress on the second one by looking at it.

for you Frank
Frank asked for a better pic of me fixing the thermos. This is the setup I used and it worked. The cap and stopper didn't deform or have any other problems. So far the bottom is staying in place and that includes me doing the bounce test with it this morning at work.

I couldn't do it this way
Try as I might, and I did for a month or so, I couldn't get the bottom to seat. No matter how I tapped this down the bottom cocked on me. I couldn't get it to seat evenly or very far up even with it cocked.  Day 3 and it is still together.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What does the zero indicate in the US highway route numbers(Rte 20 etc)?
answer - that it is a coast to coast highway

PS Read the instructions on the box cover on how to open the magazine holding the bits.

An Evangelistic Gestation.

Inside the Oldwolf Workshop - Thu, 09/29/2016 - 10:41pm

This past Sunday I was once again joined a couple friends to demonstrate the traditional woodworking skills of turning logs into stuff at The Castlerock Museum of Arms and Armor in Alma WI. This is the third time we've done this "Forest to Furniture" event, this time they let us make a mess inside due to uncooperative weather. Of course I'd happily work in the driving rain to stand in the company of Tom Latane (latanepepin.com) and Paul Nyborg (www.thenyborgs.com)

The best thing about doing these shows is most of the audience doesn't know the first thing about woodworking. I don't like it because it's easier, (in fact the questions can be more complex) I like it because it spreads the word outside the already converted. Many woodworking demonstrations happen for woodworkers. These can be good things, new techniques and new tricks can be learned.

Showing hand tool woodworking to the uninitiated is a lot like performing a magic show. The awe at the effect sharp steel and the concept of a log turning into something useable is palpable. It seems like something that we've left behind as a society and when it's rediscovered, . .  well it's a hell of a lot of fun to be the catalyst for that. 

Ratione et Passionis
Categories: General Woodworking

Carving spruce

Owyhee Mountain Fiddle Shop - Thu, 09/29/2016 - 4:50pm

After hollowing out the maple back, carving spruce is sinfully fun.  At this point, one can do amazing slices.

Nastiness will return while trimming the f-holes, with a knife, across hard-soft-hard-soft-hard-soft, but for now, the living is easy.
Categories: Hand Tools, Luthiery

Shop Update for 9/29/16

The Renaissance Woodworker - Thu, 09/29/2016 - 4:41pm

A Veneer Hook, Flyswatter, and Air Filter Problems

Sometimes we make silly things in our shops. I often experiment with new techniques using little practice projects. Often I just need a break from a more involved project to make something small. But anytime I make something I aim to hone a skill or take a first step into a new one. And that is what is happening this week in my shop. I built a flyswatter, mainly as a joke, but then as a fun opportunity do some riving, drawknife work, fretwork, and veneer work. Oh yeah and I had a lot of fun making it!

Finally, I need some advice from y’all on what could be wrong with my air filter. I need to get it sorted out quickly as my shop definitely won’t pass a white glove test with all this fine dust building up on stuff…and the Queen is due for dinner soon!

Win a Bad Axe SawBad Axe Saw Giveaway Time is Running Out!

Just a reminder, I will be giving away 2 Bad Axe saws and a bench hook set at the end of this month. Anyone who joins Apprenticeship at The Hand Tool School before October 1st (and any currently enrolled in the program) will be eligible to win one of the saws.

Categories: Hand Tools

Bannister back chair – dry fit back assembly

A Woodworker's Musings - Thu, 09/29/2016 - 2:46pm

Today was fit up day.  The good news is that everything seemed to fit pretty well.  Assembly required only a little gentle tapping.  The rear seat rail is of white oak.  Reason being?  It was laying under the lathe.


The rear of the crest rail is straightforward.  Piercings are “heavily” beveled.  The “flower” at the top is developed on the back.  A closer look at the balusters will show a lamb’s tongue on the lower pommel.    I’d like to say that this was a critical design consideration.  But the truth is that I inadvertently bumped the pommel with the tip of a skew as I was moving the tool rest.  Lesson:  don’t move the tool rest while the stock is turning.  Lesson:  Turn an accident into a design detail….


Tomorrow starts the front assembly.  Whew, this fast paced production is wearing me out!

Categories: Hand Tools

Drying Wood

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 09/29/2016 - 12:41pm

drying-woodThis is an excerpt from “With the Grain: A Craftsman’s Guide to Understanding Wood” by Christian Becksvoort.

A commonly encountered misconception is that wood breathes. As we know, heartwood is composed entirely of dead cells, while sapwood has some living cells, which die after the wood is cut. Nonetheless, wood is an organic substance that by its nature responds to climatic changes. Moisture is absorbed or given off as the seasons dictate.

When the relative humidity rises, the wood fibers absorb moisture that penetrates from the outside and causes the wood to swell. As the humidity decreases, excess moisture is given off by the fibers to be reabsorbed by the surrounding air. Wood is constantly trying to maintain a balance between its moisture content and that of the surrounding environment. This balance is called the equilibrium moisture content (EMC). Simply expressed, it is the amount of moisture present in wood at a given temperature and relative humidity over a period of time (Fig. 4-9).


Fig. 4-9

A closer look at Figure 4-9 shows that humidity is only one factor in determining EMC. Temperature also plays a role. For instance, at a given temperature as humidity rises, the EMC of the wood increases dramatically. This is to be expected. On the other hand, as relative humidity remains constant and temperature rises, the EMC of the wood goes down. Water in the cell walls is in liquid form. As the temperature goes up, the water becomes gaseous and escapes into the warmer air.

Relative Humidity

Relative humidity is expressed as a percentage of the amount of moisture that the air is capable of holding at a given temperature. Warm air can hold more water vapor than cold air. For instance, at 86°F (30°C) and 100 percent relative humidity can hold five times as much water vapor as air at 43°F (6°C) and 100 percent relative humidity. Hence, it is a good idea for a well-equipped wood shop to have a thermometer and hygrometer.


Fig. 4-10. (A) Average relative humidity in July, at noon, local time. (B) Average annual precipitation, in inches. (C) Average recommended moisture content of wood for interior work.

Location, as well as time of year, determines the average humidity. Figure 4-10 shows the average humidity in the United states for July, as well as the average rainfall. The third map takes both of these into account, as well as the corresponding equilibrium moisture content from Figure 4-9, to arrive at a general composite map of average moisture content of wood intended for interior use in various parts of the country. This map should only serve as a rough guide, because local conditions can vary.

Air Drying

Numerous considerations influence the air drying of lumber, among them:

Climatic conditions. Generally speaking, very little drying of lumber is possible during the winter, particularly in those areas where the temperature remains below freezing. Moisture close to the surface can evaporate by the process of sublimation, whereby the water goes from a solid state (ice) directly to a gaseous state (vapor) without becoming a liquid. In areas where winter temperatures are relatively mild, some drying will occur, as long as rainfall and humidity are not excessive. Drying rates are variable and often very localized. The location of the drying pile and even its orientation to the sun and prevailing wind all influence the rate of evaporation.


Fig. 4-11

Species. The wood species makes quite a difference when it comes to length of drying time. Specific gravity is a fairly good general indicator of drying rate. The lower the specific gravity, the faster the drying time. The softwoods and lighter species of hardwoods dry faster under favorable conditions. The percentage of sapwood and heartwood also plays a part. For example, sugar maple dries faster than Northern red oak with roughly the same specific gravity, but sugar maple has more sapwood. Figure 4-11 lists the approximate air- drying times of some native woods.

Thickness. The old rule of thumb “one year of drying for each inch of thickness” has no basis in fact. First, it does not take species into account. Second, drying time is a function of the square of the thickness. This means that 8/4, or 2″ (5 cm) stock takes four times as long as 4/4, or 1″ (2.5 cm) stock. In fact, for some species the drying time is even longer than the square of the thickness. This is one reason (along with the differential between radial and tangential shrinkage, described in Chapter 5) why it is next to impossible to dry entire logs without serious cracking or checking.

Grain orientation. Quartersawn wood is slower to dry than plain-sawn wood. The ray cells aid in drying, and although they appear more prominent on quartersawn wood, not nearly as many are exposed on the face of the board.

Pile construction and foundation. The actual method of stacking the wood has a lot to do with the drying rate. Adequate space left around each board aids in drying. Many smaller piles dry faster than one large pile. The pile foundation should be well off the ground to allow for free air movement underneath. Weeds and debris should not obstruct the air flow. Finally, the ground should be well drained, with no standing water.

Meghan Bates

Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

How I Tweak an Egg-crate Joint

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 09/29/2016 - 11:47am
How I Tweak an Egg-crate Joint

This week I’m working on a small Arts & Crafts project coming out in a week or two. One of the joints used in the project is what I call an egg-crate joint as shown in the opening photo. Some woodworkers call this joint a half-lap because you’re slipping half of each board together. Years ago I called a ship-lap joint a half-lap for the same reason. Regardless of what you call this slipped-together connection, I thought I’d share how I tweak the fit when using a table saw.

Continue reading How I Tweak an Egg-crate Joint at 360 WoodWorking.

Meet Kara, the Newest Addition to Lost Art Press

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 09/29/2016 - 11:13am

Photo by Matthew Albritton

Editor’s note: Last month we asked Kara Gebhart Uhl to help us with editorial tasks at Lost Art Press. During the last decade, John and I have taken on book projects that are more and more ambitious. And in the next 12 months we’ll be announcing several additional ambitious projects that will take lots of brainpower and red ink.

After months of agonizing over how to manage these projects and keep our sanity, I read a blog entry that struck me like an electric shock. One of my former editorial employees, Kara, was lamenting/celebrating the fact that her kids were all going to be in school during the day.

I sent her an immediate email. She knows woodworking. She knows our editing style. She can already read my mind. And no one – no one – is as organized and on time as Kara.

She agreed to help us out about 10 hours a week and has already started chewing up our backlog of editing – the next Charles Hayward volume is now two months ahead of schedule.

As you’ll see below, Kara is crazy overqualified to work with us, but we hope to treat her well and hang onto her for many years to come.

Fifteen years ago Chris Schwarz hired me as an assistant editor at Popular Woodworking Magazine. I had a magazine journalism degree, and I was hired for my writing and editing skills. My only woodworking skills at the time involved a turned lamp I made in junior high shop class.

Chris served as a mentor, helping me improve my writing and editing, while also teaching me the art of woodworking. I took classes, including a week-long class with Lonnie Bird to build a Shaker end table, and a chairmaking class with Don Weber. Several other pieces see daily use in my home, including a knockdown Arts & Crafts bookcase.

But I never truly fell in love with the physical aspects of woodworking. I did, however, fall in love with the idea of woodworking and, more importantly, the folks who did it. My absolute favorite pieces to write for Popular Woodworking Magazine was a series of articles called Great Woodshops. I’d spend a day in John Wilson’s The Home Shop or in Brian Boggs’s “laboratory,” and I’d simply look and listen, and then retell.

I served as associate and managing editor at Popular Woodworking Magazine, and helped launch Woodworking Magazine. But eventually my love of the craft of writing led me to Writer’s Digest magazine, which was two floors up in the same building.

My daughter, Sophie, was born in 2008. My twin boys were born in 2010. During this time, I quit my job at Writer’s Digest magazine, and went about the daily tasks of raising three young children. We moved into a foursquare built in 1901 in Fort Thomas, Ky., right across the river from Cincinnati.

I worked as a freelance writer and editor, doing the occasional final binder reads for both Popular Woodworking Magazine and Writer’s Digest. I maintained a column at Writer’s Digest, wrote ads, edited Writer’s Market books, and wrote profiles about interesting people for our small city’s blog, http://www.fortthomasmatters.com.

I also wrote about parenting on my personal blog, http://www.pleiadesbee.com, and my essays were picked up by TIME: Healthland, The New York Times Motherlode (now called Well Family) and The Huffington Post. It was in the comment sections of those blogs that I developed a thick skin.

I still maintain my freelance workload, all the while working toward my dream of publishing a picture book. I’m represented by Jordy Albert of The Booker Albert Agency and I currently have two out on submission. As Sylvia Plath once said, “I love my rejection slips. They show me I try.”


After eight years of being home with my children, working during naps, nights and weekends, my days have changed. In August all three of my children went back to school, full day. What once were a few precious hours here and there has turned into six solid hours at home. Chris, aware of this life change, emailed me, asking if I was interested in helping out.

And so, in many ways, I feel like I’ve come back full circle. I’m once again working with my former mentor, and serving a community of craftspeople who I’ve grown to admire greatly over the years, people who believe in the beauty of working with one’s hands, building objects designed to last longer than themselves. I’m happy to be here.

— Kara Gebhart Uhl

Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Remove Rust from an Old Hand Plane with Citric Acid

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 09/29/2016 - 10:50am

Generally speaking, I like tools: power tools, hand tools, woodworking tools, farm tools. Tools. Also generally speaking, I like old things. I’m no Luddite (I’m very fond of Netflix) but am much more likely to smile over a thrift store treasure than a new iPhone. Be it a hat, lamp or hardback, old things have an ontological resonance that gets my neurons firing. Picturing all the sets of hands holding […]

The post Remove Rust from an Old Hand Plane with Citric Acid appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Examination of an 18th Century Drop Leaf Table: Issue Two Table of Contents

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Thu, 09/29/2016 - 10:30am

Every issue of M&T will have an in depth analysis of a particular period piece. In the last issue, we looked at a Federal Boston secretary. (Yes, the ebook is still in the works.) The objective with this kind of piece is to provide numerous up close and personal photographs of not only the pretty show surface, but also the guts of the thing. This is the stuff museums don’t typically publish for people and it’s exactly the kind of stuff that woodworkers want to see.

For Issue Two, I chose this mid to late 1700s New England table that I purchased at an auction earlier this year. I selected this piece because it’s not rare or unique in at all. This form and construction is typical and as such serves as a wonderful teaching tool for those that want to reverse engineer the pre-industrial process. By carefully disassembling a few of the joints, this piece gives us a unique opportunity to explore the mindset of an 18th century cabinetmaker.

This photo essay focuses on the tool marks that tell the story here with concise commentary pointing out some of the methods of the original artisan. In this piece, you’ll see not only how the drop leaf is constructed, but also the secondary surfaces and workmanlike solutions that are relatively standard features of pre-industrial work.

Stay tuned for more contents to be found in the upcoming Issue Two.

Categories: Hand Tools

Broken metal plane repair

Mulesaw - Thu, 09/29/2016 - 10:05am
Yesterday we were in port, and most surprisingly it didn't rain. We are in Bergen, and on an average it rains here 400 days per year (or there about)..

After realising that it was 22 years ago I had last done any brazing/welding of cast iron, I decided to read up a bit on the subject.
1) Use an flame with oxygen surplus.
2) Preheat the parts to 350 - 400 dgC.
And off course the usual stuff about chamfering and how to hold the flame (15-30 degree angle).

I mounted two pieces of angle bar in a vise on the deck. One would hopefully keep the sole falt, and the other should keep the plane aligned sideways.

A fairly important trick for cast iron is to first use a flame (oxygen surplus) directly on the crack, to burn away any carbon deposits.

After this I did my best to preheat evenly to 400 dgC. I then started brazing with a special filler material intended for cast iron. The biggest challenge was that I couldn't flip the plane on the side to do the major parts of the crack, and this particular type of filler works best if applied on a horizontal piece.
I did the best I could, and at a point I decided that I couldn't do much more.

The next suggestion from the welding handbook was to let the item cool slowly packed in dry sand or in some insulation material. I elegantly skipped that part and just reduced the intensity of the flame and heated a bit on the plane now and then till I reached 150 dgC.
After that I just let it cool down.

Once cold I rinsed it off in water and took it to the workshop.

The sole had a cup in the middle, so I flattened it using a file and later some emery paper. It still has a small area behind the mouth where it is possible to slip a piece of paper under. But I think it might be OK despite that. If not I'll just flatten it some more later.
Sideways it was also a bit off, but it was mostly on the forward most part of the plane. I flattened until I could see that the nicker was in line with the aft part of the plane, and then I stopped. I have never used the plane with the blade in the forward position, and I doubt I ever will, so no need to fuss to much over it.

The conclusions to the project:
By using the cast iron filler instead of the bronze filler, the repair job is a little bit more hidden, and a bit stronger.
The structured original paint of the plane is destroyed. And the entire plane needs to be washed again because it makes your hands dirty when you try to hold it.
It is possible to repair a broken cast iron plane. BUT it is better if you don't drop it in the first place!

Plane positioned on angle bars. 

Chamfered crack.

Burning away the carbon deposits.

How I checked the temperature (this is cooling down).

First shot of the repair job.

Flattening the sole, pen marks show my progress.
I did flatten it more, but didn't take more pictures.

Light colour shows where it is flat.

Repair job on the inside.

Categories: Hand Tools

Instant Answers – 360w360 E.186

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 09/29/2016 - 4:00am
Instant Answers – 360w360 E.186

In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking, the 360 guys discuss how there are few, if any, simple answers to woodworking questions.

Join the guys twice each week for six lively minutes of discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more). Chuck & Glen, and sometimes a surprise guest, all have their own opinions. Sometimes they agree and sometimes they don’t, but the conversation is always information packed and lots of fun.

Continue reading Instant Answers – 360w360 E.186 at 360 WoodWorking.

no UPS today........

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 09/29/2016 - 1:29am
It is now 1800 and the man in brown hasn't shown up yet. It is a moot point if he comes now anyways because I'm done in the shop for the night. I checked my email at 1700 and Lee Valley and McMaster-Carr are supposed to be on the truck for delivery today. If they had been waiting for me I could have done the splits today. So I'll have to sit here and fret and wait for him to show up. I worry about this because UPS has a habit of delivering my packages to other people.

the tag says it all
I'm not bashing 'made in china' but a lot of the goods that I see with this label remind of 'made in Japan' stuff from when I was kid.

my daily take to work Thermos
My first job out of high school was with Thermos in Taftville, Connecticut. That plant closed and moved to England and it looks like they are in China now.

this bottom is a press fit
This bottom would not stay on. No *^#@^&(*&%R$E))&^% matter what I did. It would stay on for a few days and pop off usually when I washed it. I couldn't just beat it back on because the threaded top for the cap couldn't take that punishment. And the bottom isn't perfectly round neither so I couldn't tap the bottom on evenly. (It's fixed in the pic because I forgot to snap the before glamour shot)

how I fixed it
I screwed the stopper and cap in place and put a 3/4" piece of scrap pine on it. I used a clamp on each side of the thermos to seat the bottom. It was clamp it, move the thermos, and repeat. I didn't want to go nutso on this and crush it with a heavier clamp so I stopped it here. If this doesn't have any longevity I'll epoxy it next.

fixing the bevels
Last night after the blog was written I went back to the shop to play with this spokeshave. I wanted to figure out why it wouldn't cut in certain spots. Turned out that the blade was loose so it was cutting on one side of the blade but not the other. I tightened it up and it worked. This is a fine detail shaving spokeshave. I practiced on the piece of walnut in the pic taking it from squarish to this. I think I finally got a better handle on this spokeshave now.

another spot to address
I have the so so line of the bevel on the top to fix and tonight I noticed this. On this end it rises up and it is easily seen.

two swipes of the spokeshave
I could have done more with the spokeshave but I can't see what I am removing till it is out of the way. This is close and I finished it up with a file - this is end grain and the file works good here.

I'm happy with the edges
happy with the tops too
I thought of this today at lunch. When I made my kerfing plane I was obsessing about getting a clean line on the handle and that popped out when I planed it. I did the same thing here. I planed the top and I got the sharp outline around the edges I wanted. Done and I'm not going to do anymore with these.

shining the letters
These didn't work that well and did absolutely nothing to bring up a shine. The files worked 100% better and win this contest hands down.

needle files
I've been watching a you tube video series called Clickspring. I think the guy is english and he is making a skeleton clock by hand - the entire thing. He does a lot of hand filing and polishing of the brass parts with them. I'm going to try some of it here on the letters.

the outside done with the Clickspring techniques I saw
spear point
This file is working great to get right into the corners. The top facets on it are smooth with the file just on the bottom. It files the bottom and doesn't scratch and damage adjacent surfaces.

saved myself 6 bucks
The hole I drilled didn't end up dead nuts centered but here close is more than adequate. I got a snug fit on the3/8 weld rod too. Not entirely sure if this should be like that or free spinning. This is being used as a low friction spacer between the cradle end and the upright.

getting ready for tomorrow
Tomorrow will mark the first time I've used these LN chisels in a couple of years. I'll be using this one to chop the mortises in the uprights.

big difference
I was amazed the first time I saw Paul Sellers chop a mortise with a bench chisel. Up till that time I would have never thought or done such a thing. I have tried it and had good luck doing it. I only tried doing one deep mortise with the bench chisel on the left and I didn't like it. I had a awful feeling like I was a second away from snapping the chisel in half. I have a warm and fuzzy already with the beefier LN chisel.

workbench rail to post connection
This connection has been together for over 20 years. The tenon is shouldered on all four edges and the bolt is a 1/2" x 6". I don't remember how big the tenon is but this hasn't loosened or needed any other attention in all these years. If it works here, it will work on the cradle.

used the same setup on the sharpening bench
Tomorrow I'll be able to get the cradle ends ready for glue up. The man in brown came about 5 minutes ago. I got all three of the packages I ordered so I should be good to go.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was Roy J Plunkett?
answer - an american chemist you discovered polytetrafluoroethylene by accident in 1938 - PTFE aka Teflon

Tool Restoration: Stanley No. 4½ – Part 2

The Bench Blog - Thu, 09/29/2016 - 1:00am

Part 2 – Fettling the Body and Frog

This is the second post in a four-part series in which I show all the steps that I took to restore  an English Stanley No. 4½ Jumbo Smoothing Plane.  You can read the earlier post here:

Tool Restoration: Stanley No. 4½ – Part 1 – Tear Down and Cleaning

I ended the previous post with the plane completely disassembled and all the parts having been cleaned and even polished where necessary.  The next part of the process is to fettle the plane.  This involves flattening the sole and the sides, flattening the face of the frog, and checking the mating surfaces where the frog mounts onto the body casting.  I’m going to do this twice.  The first fettling is the hardest one and requires the most elbow grease.  It is done before the parts are painted.  After painting, the parts are fettled one more time very lightly to remove overspray and for final finish.

To flatten parts, I use a granite reference slab and self adhesive sandpaper.  Mine is a Grizzly Reference Slab that I bought at the Grizzly showroom in Bellingham a few years ago.  Luckily I was able to pick it up in person, as shipping would have been ridiculously expensive.  This thing weighs 150 pounds!!!  You’d never think so to look at it, but man is it heavy.  I hate having to move it, so it has become a more or less permanent fixture at my sharpening area.

My sharpening area.

My sharpening area.

For sandpaper, I like the Klingspor brand.  I buy the 2 ¾ wide rolls and get them from EdenSaw Hardwoods in Port Townsend.  You can also get them from WoodworkingShop.com where they are cheaper, but you have to pay shipping and wait for the small mail.

Self adhesive sandpaper on a machinist's reference surface granite slab.

Self adhesive sandpaper on a machinist’s reference surface granite slab.

Since I’m aiming for a flat surface, I stick the paper down using a pressure roller.  It needs to be stuck close to the edge as you can only flatten on half of the frog face at a time.  I suppose you could knock out the pins holding the lateral adjuster and the depth wishbone, but then they would have to be re-peened in place later.  This would likely chip the new paint.  Instead, I throw the lateral adjuster all the way over to one side and then flatten the opposite side on the slab.  I then switch sides and repeat.  Lastly, I push the whole frog back and forth on the slab, advancing in as far as the depth pin.

Fettling the front face of the frog until an even scratch pattern appears.

Fettling the front face of the frog until an even scratch pattern appears.

In the US, with the beginning of the Type 16 planes, Stanley went to a raised rib style frog as seen above.  Previously the whole frog had one flat surface with no recessed (black painted) areas.  The older style frog is regarded (arguably) and the better frog, and I tend to agree.  In the older style, the entire face of the frog is in contact with the cutting iron, providing better support.  One good thing that can me said about the newer style is that they are easier to flatten.  As you are only sanding on the raised metal ribs, very little metal has to be removed.

The bottom of the frog also has to be trued up.  Go easy here!  You don’t want to change the geometry of the mating surfaces as you could easily screw up the plane.  I used slow, even strokes with a firm downward pressure on the frog.

Truing up the bottom mating surface of the frog.

Truing up the bottom mating surface of the frog.

Only a very few passes are needed. You don't want to over do this.

Only a very few passes are needed. You don’t want to over do this.

That's it, don't remove any more metal.

That’s it, don’t remove any more metal.

The bottom machined lip of the frog is also flattened.

The bottom machined lip of the frog is also flattened.

All of these areas will get touched up one more time later in the process after the painting is done.  But for now, the frog is finished.  Time to address the body.

A few swipes on the flattening plate to reveal the highs and lows.

A few swipes on the flattening plate to reveal the highs and lows.

The sole of the plane was not in bad shape.  It looked ugly, but a few passes on the sandpaper revealed it to be pretty flat.  The important thing here is that the plane be flat down the sides, in the front and at the back, and right across the front of the mouth opening.  Any low spots in the middle of the front or the middle of the rear, will not affect the cutting.

It was reasonably flat with only a couple of low spots to remove.

It was reasonably flat with only a couple of low spots to remove.

I stopped here:

This will be good enough for now.

This will be good enough for now.

There was no need to continue lapping the bottom until all the lows were removed.  Once the body is painted I will repeat this process.

This is probably a good time to point out something else that is rather important.  You will notice that I am lapping the sole here without the frog installed.  That’s fine for now, but the final lapping will need to be done with the frog in the plane.  The act of tightening the bolts that attach the frog to the bed can cause the sole to flex a little, so final lapping will best be done after the parts are painted and the frog re-installed.

Once happy with the sole, I moved on to the sides.

The sides also got the same treatment.

The sides also got the same treatment.

110 images and yet I find there is still a step that I forgot to take a picture of.  The next thing I did is to take a piece of 120 grit paper and sand all the edges of the plane.  The leading edge, the tailing edge, and the top edges of the sides.  I’ve seen some restorations where these edges get painted and left that way, but I think they look great once sanded up to about 220 grit.  They take on a nice satin appearance when done right.

After the edges were done, I turned my attention to the frog mounting lugs.  These parts are cast into the bed of the plane body and are where the bed mates with the bottom of the frog.  If these parts are uneven and do not mate flatly with the frog, the frog will rock and performance of the plane will be awful.  Sanding these lugs by hand would tend to round them over and ruin the mating surface.  I needed to create a jig that will allow me to lightly sand them but keep them dead flat.

I tape a piece of masonite to the plane body and keep adding layers of masking tape to build up this shim until it is the same height as the top of the lugs.

Building up a guide the same height as the frog lugs in the bed.

Building up a guide the same height as the frog lugs in the bed.

Trying to show the lugs behind.

Trying to show the lugs behind.

I tried to adjust the focus to show you what I’m lining up.

This shows it a little better.

This shows it a little better.

You can also use a piece of flat stock to test the setup.

Using a flat piece of scrap to test the height of the shim.

Using a flat piece of scrap to test the height of the shim.

Here you can see a little better that I am lining up the shim with the lug.

Here you can see a little better that I am lining up the shim with the lug.

A file would be too aggressive here.  I just want a very light sanding to clean and flatten the top of the mounting lugs.  I went to the firewood pile and picked out a scrap of madrone left over from my chisel handle projects.  I ran one face over the jointer to flatten it and then stuck a piece of self adhesive sandpaper to it.

Self adhesive sandpaper on a jointed piece of scrap.

Self adhesive sandpaper on a jointed piece of scrap.

Stuck on.

Stuck on.

Cleaning up and flattening the top of the frog mounting lug.

Cleaning up and flattening the top of the frog mounting lug.

Don’t over do this.  This process will be repeated one more time after the body is painted.

Again, I'm not looking to change the geometry of the plane, just clean and flatten the top of the mounting lug.

Again, I’m not looking to change the geometry of the plane, just clean and flatten the top of the mounting lug.

The last areas to touch up are the small flats right behind the mouth opening.  These are very hard to get to.  A milling machine would do the trick, but my shop is too stuffed with woodworking machines to ever think of adding metalworking tools.  Instead, I stuck some sandpaper on the end of a stick and sanded the area manually.

I stuck some of the same self adhesive paper on the bottom of a small wire brush handle.

I stuck some of the same self adhesive paper on the bottom of a small wire brush handle.

I lightly sanded the two flat areas right behind the mouth opening.

I lightly sanded the two flat areas right behind the mouth opening.

As I sit here writing this, a lightbulb just went on.  The thought occurs to me that I could take a pice of dowel rod (⅜” or perhaps ½”) and square up one end at the shooting board.  I could then affix some sandpaper to the end and mount the dowel in the drill press.  Light downward pressure on the handle would create an overlapping circle/swirl pattern.  But with a light touch, and a well squared up table, might just do the trick.  I will have to experiment with this next time I restore a plane.

The first (and hardest) round of fettling all done.

The first (and hardest) round of fettling all done.

In any case, this brings me to the end of this installment.  All of the parts are fitting together beautifully and are ready for paint.  As my painting process is rather involved, I will save that  for the next post.

More soon.


– Jonathan White

Woodworking in America 2016 (Part 1)

Rainford Restorations - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 5:51pm

Here’s a recap of my first day at Woodworking In America 2016 — held at the Northern Kentucky Convention in Covington Kentucky which is part of the greater Cincinnati Ohio area.

Greetings from Popular Woodworking in America 2016Greetings from Popular Woodworking in America 2016

This was my first time attending this conference and other than a nightmare of a time getting there by plane from NH (Thursday night flight cancelled, the second set of flights Friday at the crack of dawn, missing the connection due to ground staff incompetence and fighting to get on another flight later in the day) and missing the 2/3 of the day’s lectures I still had a very nice first day watching Freddy Roman’s presentation, exploring the brew and browse event, meeting a ton of friends old and new and meeting several online friends in person. I also had a great dinner with a great bunch of folks — Zach Dillinger, Mary May, George Walker and many others.

Click on any of the images below to click through the images as a slideshow. (if you are viewing this post in an email browser, please click on the post title above to view the post on the website itself)

Greetings from Popular Woodworking in America 2016 John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge Street leading to the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, home to WIA 2016 Freddy Roman giving a talk on sand shading and inlay. Some of Freddy's banding stock samples. Freddy Roman demonstrating some fine detail work. Sand shaded blanks Very neat sample board of some incredibly tiny and intricate banding Freddy acquired and has worked from. Carving close up on big screen David Thiel of popular woodworking tweaking his camera. I always think photographs of other photographers are fun. My friend Zach Dillinger at the Mortise and Tenon booth The new Crucible Tools -- hold fast and dividers. Very nice looking. Paper sector by George Walker and Jim Tolpin Brendan Bernhardt Gaffney and George walker looking at Brendan's new sector prototype. Prototype Sector by Brendan. Definitely going to get one soon. Joshua Klein and his most excellent Mortise and Tenon Magazine booth Tico Vogt Toolworks The large Lee Valley/Veritas booth. Always fun to try out their latest and greatest tools SAPFM booth with the hand tool olympics. I'm proud to say I did will with my cutting events. Lie Nielsen Toolworks with Mr. Lie Nielsen himself. Deneb Puchalski of Lie Nielsen Toolworks giving a demo. Deneb is a great guy and I've been buying tools from LN for many years and he's been my main point of contact for most of it. Knew concepts marquetry saw Some of the very nice work by Texas Heritage Woodworks Jason Thigpen of Texas Heritage Woodworks making a great face. Some of the very nice work by Texas Heritage Woodworks Plate 11 Workbench Company Plate 11 Workbench Company with leg vise and real nice planing stop Plate 11 Workbench Company planing stop img_9040 A nice rocking chair by ne of the exhibitors. Wish I could recall his name, but he was offering online courses, one of which was on making this chair. -)


Up next is a post about the second two days of the conference. I had a great time and hope I can attend it again in 2017.

Take care,

Filed under: featured, Popular Woodworking Tagged: Brew and Browse, Cincinnati, Cincinnati Ohio, featured, Freddy Roman, Ohio, Popular Woodworking, Popular Woodworking In America, WIA, WIA2016
Categories: General Woodworking

Hock Blade in a Lie-Nielsen Plane?

The Sharpening Blog with Ron Hock - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 5:17pm
The Cut-Away View -- the blue thing is the breaker

The Cut-Away View — the blue thing is the breaker

We are often asked if our blades will fit in a Lie-Nielsen plane. The answer is… usually. Hock blades will drop in to many Lie-Nielsen bench planes but there can be a problem with the breaker fit. And, no, Hock breakers don’t fit Lie-Nielsen bench planes so the solution is a bit more complicated than that.

Breakers are part of the plane while blades are temporary visitors. A blade will move a couple inches through the plane over the course of its life while a breaker will move back and forth a mere fraction of an inch while adjusting the depth-of-cut. Therefore, the distance from the sharp end of the breaker to the small rectangular slot is critical. And the Lie-Nielsen breakers’ hole pattern does not match the Stanley’s that Hock breakers are designed to replace.

So, what’s the problem? Hock blades are 3/32″ (.094″)  thick while Lie-Nielsen’s are 1/8″ (.125″), 9/64″ (.140″), or 11/64″ (.170″). When you install a Hock blade into a Lie-Nielsen plane the thinner blade moves the breaker down lower onto the adjuster lever (the yellow thing in the cut-away photo). That lever is tapered so it’s not uncommon for the breaker to jam partway onto it, making it inoperative.

However, and this is the “a bit more complicated” part, many times there is no problem and the Hock blade will simply drop in and require no modification. A frog adjustment may be needed as the thinner blade will make for a wider mouth and you may wish to close it a bit by moving the frog forward. But, it the breaker jams down onto the adjuster lever, read on.

Okay, what to do? There is still considerable demand for O1 blades, which Lie-Nielsen no longer offers. (O1 still outsells A2 here at Hock Tools, BTW.) If you want a Hock Tools O1 blade for your Lie-Nielsen plane, and encounter the fitment problem described above, you could file the adjuster lever to allow the breaker to seat properly, or you could file the little rectangular slot just a little to achieve the same effect. I strongly recommend the latter course of action because if you ever wanted to return your plane to “stock” condition, you’d only have to replace the breaker (and maybe not even that) to do so. Your LN plane will hold its value forever and if you (or your estate) ever wanted to sell it that value will be higher if the adjuster lever is unmodified.

File the slot at an angle to open it up to receive the adjuster lever

File the slot at an angle to open it up to receive the adjuster lever

Use a file small enough to get into that little slot and file it at an angle so that it tapers up from the underside to allow it to fit over the adjuster lever. You shouldn’t have to remove much metal. File slowly and carefully and check the fit often.

Linda and I have become good friends with the Lie-Nielsen gang over the years. They often recommend us to their customers who ask for O1 blades. And I had Deneb vet this post in case he had anything to add. We all want our customers to have the best tools possible and are happy to work together to that end.

Categories: Hand Tools

Tool Cabinet Door Joinery

orepass: Woodworking to Pass the Time - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 4:10pm

With all of my stock dimensioned, the first step is plowing the grooves for the panels. As I have shown in the past I used a clamp to steady each board and used a Veritas plow plane to make the grooves. It only took a couple of hours to get them all done and I had very little trouble. I do like the upgraded plow plane and if you haven’t let Veritas make the change I’d go ahead. Although I had little trouble with loosening set, it’s nice to have some extremely reassurance. 

Categories: Hand Tools


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